Re: Language Tagging And Unicode

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Thu Jan 20 2000 - 09:35:10 EST


>>>How do you define "historically the same character" please?

>> Both derive directly from Old Slavonic letter tvrdo.

>By this definition Cyrillic and Latin A derive from Greek
       Alpha. And all
       three are "historically the same character". So what's the

       I think it's plain to all of us that there is a categorical
       distinction between saying "English A and French A are the
       same" and "Russian A and French A are the same". While Russian
       and Serbian have different writing systems, I don't think any
       of us question the unity of the script - Cyrillic - on which
       those writing systems are based. Latin, Greek and Cyrillic
       diverged over a thousand years ago, becoming different in
       radical ways. The differences between the Russian and Serbian
       writing systems are, in comparison, trivial.

       Writing systems and scripts are like languages in that they are
       not always neatly defined at a point in time (is the speech of
       an "English" speaker in New York the same language as that of
       an "English" speaker in Inverness?) and that they change over
       time. One can alway choose to insist that two varieties of
       speech are different in the context of a discussion where
       everyone else thinks it's adequate to say they're effectively
       the same (for the purposes of that discussion), but since
       that's not productive, we choose instead to let our categories
       conform to the conventions of the group. Similarly, I think we
       all agree to adopt the convention of saying that Russian and
       Serbian are written with a single script; there is no practical
       reason to say the are different scripts. The differences in the
       writing systems are simply not that great.


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